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Mindfulness & Motivational Thoughts


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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Worthless worry

How many things do you worry about, that don't really matter at all? Imagine the positive energy boost if you could simply let them go.

Most of the things that annoy you do so only because you have chosen to be annoyed. Think of how life would be if you spent less time annoyed and more time truly living.

When something comes along that troubles you, ask yourself if it really matters. You'll discover that many things really don't.

When something pops up to worry you, ask yourself if your worrying will make it better. Chances are, with most things, it won't.

Most worries and annoyances are completely worthless, and only serve to bring you down. Is that really what you want?

Practice diverting more of your time and energy to positive, useful, productive pursuits. Replace the worry and annoyance about things that don't matter with real, effective action for the things that do.

-- Ralph Marston

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Monday, August 23, 2004

What gets through

Get in the habit of finding the positive aspects in everything around you. Then, when a new situation arises, you'll easily and naturally see the positive possibilities.

When you surround yourself with goodness, then everything that comes your way must first pass through that goodness. And in so doing, it takes on a positive flavor.

Your perspective is a filter through which everything passes before you experience it. Through practice and intention, you can determine what gets through that filter and what does not.

Being positively focused is not a matter of denying or ignoring reality. It's a matter of choosing how to experience and respond to reality.

You could do that with an attitude colored by defeat, resignation and resentment. Or you can respond to reality with wonder, awe, enthusiasm and the most positive of expectations.

Make a point to view what has already happened in a positive light. And you'll find even better things coming your way.

-- Ralph Marston

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Monday, August 30, 2004

Lessons of life

Every situation is a lesson to be learned. From the most mundane chores to the most complex projects, life is always ready to teach you something.

Life is ready to teach when you are willing to learn. And the more you learn from what life offers, the better life becomes.

The lessons are usually not all that obvious. Yet they are there if you will think to take a look. The lessons are there in every moment, in every dilemma, in every frustration and every joy. They are there in every sadness, every victory, every discomfort and every pleasure.

Each lesson you learn paves the way for a new and even more valuable one. Each lesson you ignore keeps coming back, again and again.

One way or another, life will teach you its lessons. When you're a willing student, those lessons are pure gold.

-- Ralph Marston

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Positive spin

Many limitations are limitations only because you see them as such. By changing your thinking, you can change the reality of your limitations.

Have things ever annoyed you to the point where you were prevented from getting anything done? Have you ever been so frustrated that you were unable to take action?

The tendency in such situations is to attack the sources of those annoyances and frustrations. Yet there is often a much more positive and effective way.

Instead of fighting against what annoys you, simply let go of the annoyance. Rather than attacking what frustrates you, just let the frustration drop away from you.

Instead of struggling against the obstacles, move positively forward on your own terms. What you once may have viewed as a rock-solid obstacle can become just another factor to be considered.

To a large degree, you can decide what gets to you and what doesn't, what stops you and what motivates you to move forward. Put a positive spin on your thoughts, and things that once would have stopped you, no longer will.

-- Ralph Marston

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Thursday, September 9, 2004

Into comfort

As you go through this day, see how many of the things that worry you can be changed into things that comfort you. As strange as it may sound, there are plenty of such opportunities.

Instead of worrying about becoming ill, find comfort in the level of wellness you have. Instead of worrying about your finances, find comfort in your ability to be productive and to create value.

Rather than worrying about the time you've wasted, take comfort in the time you now have available to use. Rather than worrying about what you could lose, take comfort in making use of the good things you have.

Every moment you spend worrying will bring whatever you're worried about closer to reality. That's certainly not what you want to be doing.

Instead, take each worry and turn it around. Put your energy where it will do the most good.

Every moment, every situation, every issue and every concern has a positive side. Find it and bring it to life.

-- Ralph Marston

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Friday, September 10, 2004

Beauty of the moment

There is, in just one moment, enough beauty to last a lifetime. How much of it can you see right now?

In every tiny detail there is beauty. In every broad horizon there is even more.

Beauty is more than just glamour or brilliance. Beauty is found in the truth of what is.

When you can see a little beauty, you open yourself to seeing more. Were you to see it all, there would be no end to the joy.

Take in a little of the beauty of this moment. And you'll carry it with you wherever you go.

The more beauty you see and love, the more beautiful life will be.

-- Ralph Marston

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Saturday, September 11, 2004

Enduring goodness

Though life's goodness can at times be momentarily overshadowed, it can never be outweighed. When you take the time to look with your heart, you'll see the goodness of life shining brightly in all directions.

For every single act of senseless destruction, there are thousands more acts of caring and compassion. For every single thing that causes dismay, there are far more reasons for hope.

The goodness of life is so thoroughly a part of life that it often goes unnoticed until events seem to undermine it. Yet life's goodness always comes back, ever stronger for having been challenged.

On this day, don't be satisfied to simply count your many blessings. Live them fully.

Consider all the possibilities that life's goodness affords you. Choose to live the best of them, with love, vigor and commitment.

Wrap your thoughts, your actions, yourself around life's enduring goodness, and give your best to it. Make it grow ever stronger, and you will too.

-- Ralph Marston

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Monday, September 13, 2004

Beyond complaints

Usually, complaining about your situation wastes more time and energy than the very things you're complaining about. Whenever you're complaining, you're living much less fully than you could be.

Life is as it is, and complaining will not change how it already is. Choose instead to move forward, with positive thoughts and actions.

The next time you feel a complaint arising, decide to give yourself a valuable gift. Let go of the complaint, and give yourself a golden moment that otherwise would have been lost on negativity.

If something needs to be changed, by all means change it. Don't delay the process by taking time out to complain.

Let go of the need to always be right. And you'll find it far easier to see the real truth, and to make real progress.

Let go of the need to complain about life. And you'll spend your moments actually living its beauty.

-- Ralph Marston

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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

If you wish

If you wish to be respected, then be ever respectful. If you wish to be understood, then make it your business to sincerely understand.

If you wish to be appreciated, then be ever grateful. If you wish to be loved, then give love in each moment.

If you wish to be wealthy, then act to create real value. If you wish to learn, then take time to teach.

If you wish to climb higher, then lift others up. If you wish to be wise, then share what you know.

Whatever you wish, life will surely give it. What you must do, though, is to truly live it.

There is so much to live for and so much to see. You will have whatever you are willing to be.

-- Ralph Marston

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The perfect moment

Rather than trying to get things perfect, see that they already are. This moment is as it is, and it's a perfect opportunity to fully live.

Though the details may not be precisely to your liking, you can still work with whatever you have. And whatever you have is always enough.

There is always something in this moment that will get you to the next. And in the next moment there will always be something that will carry you to the one after that.

Look back and see that it always has been. Though things have often seemed not to be perfect, you've certainly made it this far.

Moment by moment, day by day, you're alive and experiencing it all. The more thankful you are for what already is, the more you'll be empowered to create what you want.

This moment is perfectly suited for you. Accept it and go where you will.

-- Ralph Marston

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Time to be

On a regular basis, take time to be. Experience the very real experience of life and awareness.

Every moment does not have to be planned or precisely programmed. There is as much value to be found in being as in doing.

Take time to process and absorb the activities and sensations you've collected. Take time to consider the things you've learned.

If you hurry through one thing just to get to the next, what have you really gained from it all? Give quality and substance to the things you do by being fully present while you do them.

Fulfillment is more than just working through the items on your list of things to do. Fulfillment comes when you put your real self into each of those things.

Whatever you do, you'll do better when you're fully there, engaged and aware. Take time to be, and be amazed at what it will do.

-- Ralph Marston

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Friday, September 17, 2004

Working with life

There's no sense in blaming the mountain for being too high. Instead, find a way to climb it.

There is nothing to be gained by blaming your troubles on the turn of events. That only makes the troubles worse.

Circumstances are not stacked against you, unless you imagine them to be. Instead of blaming life for how it goes, adapt and respond positively to whatever happens.

The setbacks you encounter are what they are. Those setbacks have no choice, but you do. You can choose to let them pull you down. Or you can choose to let them provide you with a positive way forward.

Instead of imagining that life is working against you, imagine yourself to be working along with life. And you'll find much more of it going your way.

-- Ralph Marston

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Saturday, September 18, 2004

Who you are

Do you really want what you think you want? Or are you just following a borrowed dream?

The world will suggest for you plenty of things to pursue. The trouble is, those things can't bring fulfillment.

When following a dream that isn't even yours, there's no passion to propel you forward. Even when you do somehow manage to reach it, the prize will be empty if you never really wanted it.

Stop listening to what the world says you should want. Start listening to who you are.

Let yourself discover what truly brings you joy. Let yourself live, not to impress others, but to follow the values you hold most dear.

Real success comes when you realize that the mere tokens of success have little meaning. Real success comes when you can be who you are.

-- Ralph Marston

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Monday, September 20, 2004

Enjoy here and now

The more you enjoy the place where you are, the better that place will be. The more you enjoy the moment you're in, the more treasures that moment will bring.

Even when you have no reason to enjoy life, enjoy it anyway. For joy is its own best reason.

It does no harm to anyone for you to enjoy who you are and what you're doing. In fact, your genuine enjoyment can bring joy to many others.

You're always better at doing the things you enjoy. So enjoy as much as you can.

Don't let others limit your thinking about what's enjoyable and what's not. Enjoyment is a state of mind and of being, not a state of outside affairs.

Enjoy that you're here to experience all the ups and downs. Your enjoyment will bring the ups more and more often.

-- Ralph Marston

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Goal of the journey

When you're committed to a journey of a thousand miles, a few steps in the wrong direction can't possibly bring you down. But if you have no overall direction, each negative step can seem devastating.

If the little things are constantly bringing you down, that's a sign that the big things aren't compelling enough. If the minor annoyances seem like major setbacks, then work on looking beyond them.

There is some purpose that will lift you above whatever setbacks may come. There is some purpose that will compel you to positive action, even when the circumstances of the moment work against you.

There is some reason you want what you want. There is some desire that drives all your desires.

Look beneath the surface of your day-to-day life and ask why. Dig deeply and discover the rich, special purpose that makes you who you are.

Focus your attention on the goal of the journey. And you'll hardly even notice the detours along the way.

-- Ralph Marston

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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Reasons to grow

If you had no problems, you would have no life. Seek not to be free of the problems, but to be free of their grip on your spirit.

Problems are only a problem when you're down on their level. The more you rise above them, the less they'll hold you back.

In fact, when you rise far enough above a problem, it becomes an opportunity. Look back on your experience, and you'll see that this is true.

If you run from the problems, they'll chase you, and will always, eventually, catch up. Instead of seeing a problem as a reason to run, see it as a reason to grow.

Then, not only do you grow stronger, the problem also shrinks in comparison. The higher you raise yourself above it, the more effectively you can deal with it.

Life will always have problems. The stronger those problems make you, the better life will be.

-- Ralph Marston

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Monday, September 27, 2004

This beautiful moment

There is no rush, there is no hurry. For this beautiful moment is already here.

There is no lack, there is no limit. For the possibilities of now stretch out in all directions.

There is no worry, there is no regret. For this is the time to live and to act.

Open your eyes to the rich depth of this moment's golden treasures. Breathe in deeply, filling your senses with the fresh, cool sweetness.

Being here now is a remarkable blessing. The more of its value you take time to live, the better it will become.

Right here and right now life overflows with richness. What a beautiful moment to live.

-- Ralph Marston

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When you persist

Persist, and one small effort builds upon another. Persist, and time works in your favor.

Persist, and what was once impossible becomes commonplace. Persist, and what was once out of reach will come to you in remarkable abundance.

Persist when events turn against you, and you'll steadily put things back in your favor. Persist when there's every reason to stop going, and the rewards will be even bigger than you can imagine.

Where you start matters not much at all. How much you persist is what makes the real difference.

To persist you don't need any special skill or knowledge. The main thing it takes is desire.

You can persist when there's reason enough. And somewhere in your life, you know right now, is that reason.

-- Ralph Marston

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Start the journey

When you know that you can do it, you can do it. But how do you get to that point?

How do you know, without a doubt, that you can achieve what you set out to achieve? The only way to truly know is by doing it.

The first step of any journey is always taken on faith. The next step, though, is taken with more certainty and confidence, knowing that the first step has succeeded.

So take that first step, small though as it may be. Once you've started moving, you'll know you can keep going.

Once you know you can do it, success is a matter of taking the time and making the effort. Once you know you can do it, you'll have access to what you need to complete the journey.

The smallest, most seemingly insignificant success can in fact be quite significant. For it will start you on your way to the best you can imagine.

-- Ralph Marston

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Beyond ego

Go beyond your ego, and there is nothing to fear. Go beyond your ego, and anything is possible.

The anger, the worry, the anxiety, the disappointment and conflict all come from seeing life in only the most superficial way. When you get beyond the need for drama, possessions and appearances, a vast realm of possibilities suddenly opens up.

Are the things you fight and fret over really that important to who you truly are? Or do they merely serve to prop up a limited ego-based sense of self?

Have you ever been totally absorbed in something so truly magnificent that you momentarily forgot yourself? Such moments are glimpses of how powerful it can be to go beyond your own ego.

Beyond your ego, you are not limited by what you need. Beyond your ego, you are free to fully become the best of who you are.

Listen to your ego, then softly let it go. The more you move beyond it, the more freedom you will know.

-- Ralph Marston

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Monday, October 4, 2004

Run with it

You can fret about what life hands you. Or you can put your energy into doing something positive and meaningful with it.

You can complain about the weather, and your complaints will not bring about a single ray of sunshine. Or you can adjust your actions to suit the conditions, and move positively forward no matter what.

You can worry about what others think of you. Or you can give life to the best that you expect of yourself.

You can curse the setbacks. Or you can find in them the motivation and the means to reach ever higher.

You can wait and wait for the perfect opportunity, until everything is lined up just right. Or you can move ahead with what's available here and now, even though it may not be perfect.

If you wait around for life to hand you all the good things you want, you're likely to be terribly disappointed. Yet when you take what you have and run with it, life will get better and better.

-- Ralph Marston

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Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Little things

Little things can make a big difference. Enough of them can truly change the world.

A genuine smile is a little thing, and requires almost no effort. Yet it can make a big difference to the person who receives it.

A small kindness or word of encouragement is a little thing. Yet just think of how much brighter your outlook would be if you were to give or receive several each day.

Little things can quickly combine together to have a big impact. And little things are within the reach of anyone who decides to make them happen.

Even the most magnificent achievements are the result of lots of little efforts and small successes, all working in the same direction. Big, valuable and substantial things are created when you're committed to getting all the necessary little things done.

As each moment goes by, fill it with positive, productive, and joyful little things. They'll soon add up to something big.

-- Ralph Marston

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Wednesday, October 6, 2004

The power of responsibility

When you have the power to cause a certain situation, you also have the power to change it for the better. That's why the more things you're willing to see yourself as being responsible for, the more positive power you'll have.

Though responsibility is a serious commitment, it is by no means a burden. Because the more responsibility you assume, the more control you will have over your own life.

Is it fair to have to take responsibility for things that are not your fault? No, yet when you do, you've put in place the best strategy for moving forward.

The alternative to taking responsibility is to allow yourself to be a victim. Though you may take comfort in blaming your troubles on others, by doing so you lose the power to put those troubles behind you.

The choice of taking responsibility always comes down to this. Do you want to be a victim, or do you want to be in control?

Step forward and take responsibility. That's the way to take positive, powerful control.

-- Ralph Marston

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Thursday, October 7, 2004

Inside out

The person you are on the outside can never be more successful than the person you are on the inside. Whatever it is you desire for your life, develop it first within yourself.

You can determine, with no limitations, the person you are inside. And as you do, that person comes to life on the outside as well.

Yes, you could take the outer difficulties and internalize them. But then they would soon flow back out from you and manifest on the outside as even greater difficulties.

Instead, reach deep within and connect with the highest positive purpose that is surely there. Nurture and encourage that purpose with your thoughts and actions, no matter what may be going on in the world outside.

As you do, the best of who you are inside will begin to appear on the outside. Your accomplishments will have the power of purpose behind them, making them real and lasting.

Cultivate your very best on the inside. And it will come to life all around you.

-- Ralph Marston

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Friday, October 8, 2004

Avoiding mistakes

One sure way to avoid mistakes is to avoid taking action. But in the long run, avoiding action would be the biggest mistake of all, for nothing would ever get done.

If you're going to move forward, you're going to make some wrong turns along the way. Don't let that stop you from proceeding.

There will be many times when you'll look back and wish you had done things differently. Don't let that stop you from moving forward.

Mistakes are bad enough on their own. Don't be so afraid of them that you avoid life itself.

Every mistake you've ever made is now in the past. The way to move ahead is to leave them there.

Learn from where you went wrong, then step confidently and positively forward. For now is your time to live and to act.

-- Ralph Marston

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Saturday, October 9, 2004

Positive response

A positive response is always the most powerful one. For a positive response puts you firmly in control.

When you encounter anger, respond with love. And you'll make the anger almost impossible to sustain.

When you come up against frustration, respond with patience. And the frustration will grow weaker with each passing moment.

In the face of dismay, respond with kindness. And the light you shine will chase the darkness away.

When you're faced with challenge, respond with gratitude. And in that challenge, you'll uncover immense opportunity.

No matter what life may hand you, there is always a positive response. Choose that positive response, and put yourself on the winning side.

-- Ralph Marston

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